Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (67)

Jan O'Sullivan


67. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of homes constructed under the rapid build programme in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the reason the numbers proposed in Rebuilding Ireland are not being delivered; if efforts to provide homes on publicly owned land through rapid build will be renewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44980/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government has committed to adding 50,000 new social housing homes to the social housing stock, by end 2021, through build, acquisition and leasing programmes. This is in addition to supporting 88,000 new families and individuals into homes through the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Schemes.

In terms of social housing, the priority in Rebuilding Ireland is to target the delivery of as many social housing homes, as quickly as possible, utilising all the programmes and mechanisms available. This year, €2.4 billion will support the delivery of 10,000 social housing homes and this will increase again in 2020, when over €2.6 billion will support the delivery of over 11,000 homes to the social housing stock.

The rapid delivery programme is one of a suite of delivery programmes and measures in place to support the delivery of social housing homes across the country. At end 2018, 423 social housing homes had been delivered utilising the rapid delivery programme. 22 of these were delivered in 2016, 186 in 2017 and 215 in 2018. A further 215 new social housing homes are expected to be delivered through the rapid delivery programme in 2019. It should be noted that there are now 40 rapid build projects in the pipeline that will deliver some 1,100 homes out to 2021.

My Department continues to work closely with all local authorities in relation to increasing and accelerating the delivery of rapid build methodologies. To support rapid delivery housing, the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) put in place a framework of Rapid Delivery contractors in 2017. This framework is available for all local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to use in the interest of accelerated delivery.

We have also been working specifically with Dublin City Council on the establishment of a Design Build Contractor Framework to deliver apartments. This framework, which was established recently, has a value of €750 million. It is envisaged that over 1,000 fast-track apartments will be built using this framework, and while the majority of these homes will be advanced across the Dublin area, we are working with other local authorities to advance schemes/projects suitable for volumetric construction.

While the rapid delivery programme represents new challenges to local authorities in relation to forms of contract, design and contract management, the pipeline of rapid delivery projects is continuously strengthening; with more local authorities adopting it as a means of delivery. My Department will continue to encourage, work with and support local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies deliver as many homes utilising this mechanism as possible.

Every effort is being made to provide homes on publicly owned land and the suitability of rapid delivery programme is considered for all social housing projects. Regarding the use public land in general, extensive consultation has taken place and is ongoing between the Land Development Agency (LDA) and local authorities. The discussions have centred around how the LDA can assist with the formulation of plans to deliver housing, including social and affordable housing, on local authority owned lands.